Sunday, May 20, 2007

What would Miss Manners do?

What should I do, guys?

I was recently e-vited to a get-together by someone I barely knew. However, this was a person I rather admired, so I was jazzed by the invite. Flattered. Jumped right on board. I thought I detected a bit of surprise when I appeared, but I had a great time and they seemed to enjoy my presence, too.

However, a couple days later I figured out that I'd been invited by mistake -- a simple slip of the mouse. Marie felt very silly, and a little sad.

Now there's another get-together being planned by this same person, and they have invited me to this as well, probably out of politeness as much as anything. On one hand, I enjoyed the company, but on the other, both my ego and my sense of propriety are in turmoil. Should I have enough pride to only go where I'm really wanted? Is it wrong to play an innocent mistake to your advantage? Should I let this kind person off the hook?

Social Dufus needs your advice.


Belladonna said...

The FIRST e-vite may have been an error. (what are you basing this belief on, anyway?)

But why assume the second one is just out of manners? MAYBE the person was delighted with what good company you turned out to be the first go round and now genuinely DOES want you to be there.

Or not. But does it matter? IF you had a good time and your host/hostess had a good time what's the big deal? Making good connections and enjoying life are too important to quibble over the comedy of errors that gets us there.

Carvel said...

I agree with belladonna's analysis and advice. The last sentence seems particularly wise.
What I disagree with is your spelling of "dufus." I only recall seeing it spelled doofus.
Is there a name for this type of comment, which comments mostly only on a triviality?

Marie said...

Belladonna -- that's a nice way of thinking of it. Thanks! I'm insecure enough to not be sure that they REALLY enjoyed themselves (Utah is International Niceness Headquarters, you know, and we're all very good at trapping our fury behind a dazzling smile), but they also didn't run away or scowl at me, so I will go with your positive slant.

As for how I know -- the list they got my email from is a list I know about, which lists another individual with a name very similar to mine. I learned a couple days later that the invitor was a friend of that person with the similar name, and when Paranoid Marie went back to see if that other person was listed on the first e-vite, I found that she wasn't. However, we were both listed on the second e-vite.

Dad-- that type of comment is called a You'll Never Make It As A Shrink If You Keep Correcting Their English comment. However, if you want to battle over spelling, you've met your match: type "dufus" and "doofus" into Google at the same time, you'll see that they're alternate spellings. So THERE, Spelling Guy. I say skip the wedding and go to the Senior Spelling Bee -- we can't have you spelling "proletariat" under your breath during the ceremony.

Belladonna said...

I say we take your dad's spelling of dufus/doofus and turn it around backwards to create "sufood" and submit it to the balderdash game.

I find it interesting that your spelling was questioned but not your grammar.

It's common practice (although utterly incorrect) to use "they" when referring to a single person in order to remain gender neutral. In your original post you write: "this was a person I rather admired" which implies singular. But from then on the pronouns are all plural. HMMM

Our language really does need to adopt a couple cool gender neutral pronouns - maybe one formal one informal? Wanna make some up?

s/he is always a bit contrived. Also, in this context it makes no sense because obviously YOU know the gender of your host/hostess, you simply choose not to reveal this, which is entirely your right. Too bad you are doomed to bad grammar in order to have a bit of privacy about your social life!

Marie said...

Yes, it is annoying. Languages are inclined to jettison cumbersome usage options over time (such as he/she), and I refuse to use it unless I'm writing a formal paper. My linguistics teacher predicted (and I think I agree) that within a generation or two "they" and "them" would be formally accepted as singular neuter personal pronouns, but for now it's still wrong. Maybe "it" is a bit closer rules-wise, but I think I'd get e-vited to even fewer shindigs if I referred to people as "it." :)

Rachel said...

Hmm... Saturday? Suprise BBQ? I am going. Come with me if you want to. I agree with Belladonna too. And, since I know who you are talking about, I think that their invitation was sincere even if the first was a happy accident.

Rachel said...


Rachel said...

There were tons of people there who didn't even know the hosts...

Marie said...

I am sorry I had to miss it -- it wasn't because y'all didn't thoroughly reassure me that attending would not be pathetic. Just a busy Saturday. I hope the birthday boy was surprised and that the potato salad didn't contain any mayo-bourne diseases.